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November 1, 2007

Stringer conducts presentations at international conference on vertebrate paleontology

Gary L. Stringer, professor of geology and head of the ULM Department of Curriculum and Instruction, made three presentations at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Austin, Texas, Oct. 17 – 20.

Stringer said, "I was delighted and honored to have three presentations accepted for the meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. They had their highest rejection rate ever for a meeting. So, it is very gratifying, and it is great international exposure for the Museum of Natural History and ULM."

His first presentation was with colleagues from Clemson University and Georgia College and State University and was titled "Fish Otoliths from the Eocene Clinchfield Formation of Georgia with Note of a Haemulid (grunt) of Gigantic Proportions."

His second presentation was "Paired Fish Otoliths from Possible Coprolites in the Glendon Limestone (Oligocene, Rupelian) of Central Mississippi" with George Phillips, curator of paleontology at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

His final presentation, "Taxonomy, Paleoecology, and Evolution of the Otolith-based Fishes of the Upper Cretaceous Kemp Clay, Hunt County, Texas," was with Brett Woodward, a paleontologist with the North Dakota Geological Survey. Woodward is a 2003 ULM graduate with a master’s degree in geology/paleontology and did his thesis research on fossil fishes under Stringer.

Many renowned vertebrate paleontologists, such as John Horner, the consultant for Steven Spielberg in all three of the Jurassic Park, spoke.

Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and well-known politician, spoke at the convention, giving a presentation entitled "Birds, Dinosaurs, and Science Education in the 21st Century" as well as doing a book signing for his new book entitled "Contract With the Earth."

Gingrich was a special speaker brought in by the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. After his presentation, he answered questions from a panel of distinguished paleontologists.

Stringer noted, "Dinosaurs take center stage at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting, but other fossil vertebrates, like the fishes, were well represented."

Over 1,000 vertebrate paleontologists attended the meeting, hailing from 25 countries, including Australia, India, China, Japan, Russia, Spain, Argentina, and South Africa.

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